Ex-GOP Strategist: This Election Is “Most Dangerous Period Since The Civil War”
Stuart Stevens, who has worked as a strategist and consultant for the Republican Party at the highest levels for three decades, has now joined forces with the anti-Trump Lincoln Project as a senior adviser.
In an interview with Salon’s Chauncey DeVega, Stevens explained how Trumpism took over the GOP and described the 2020 election as “the most dangerous period in American history since the Civil War.”
- “Much of civil society is based on mutual agreement of right and wrong,” Stevens said. “At every red light there is not a police officer who is going to shoot you if you run through the light. People stop anyway.”
- But the president is different, he explained: “Donald Trump does not respect those norms. Donald Trump is someone who has actively worked with Russians, and will still do so. I am very comfortable calling Trump a traitor. I don't know what else you would call him.”
- “The 2020 election is the most dangerous period in American history since the Civil War,” Stevens declared. “I know many of the people around Trump. They're not going to stand up to him. They're not going to wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want to go do this illegal act.’ But when someone tells them to commit a crime they are not going to say no. That is why Trump picked them.”
- The strategist went on to describe the Republican Party in its current iteration as “anti-American.”
If America is anything, it's a nation of immigrants, and they're an anti-immigrant party. If America is anything, it's supporting the Bill of Rights. Today's Republicans are against many parts of the Bill of Rights. Trump does not believe in freedom of the press. Trump does not believe in freedom of assembly. Trump and today's Republican Party are anti-American.
- Earlier in the interview, Stevens said he currently knows of no one “on the right who can articulate a credible theory of conservative government.”
- “I worked for more than 30 years at the highest levels in the Republican Party and even I cannot tell you what being a conservative means right now,” he continued. “Right now, all the Republican Party cares about is power. The Republican Party exists to elect Republicans. That's it. In that way, it is like a cartel. There is no higher moral good. All they exist to do is beat Democrats.”
- Stevens offered further criticism of the Republican Party's embrace of authoritarianism and decent into Trumpism: "I say this in all sincerity: Can anybody make a credible case that if these Republicans had been around in 1776, that we would not be celebrating the Queen's birthday today? These Republicans are not going to stand up to Donald Trump. Would today's Republicans have fought against the king of England and the most powerful army in the world? Are you insane? Maybe we should not be surprised by their cowardice. Maybe we should instead remember just how unusual courage is."
- Asked what he would say were he “to write the epitaph of this version of the Republican Party,” Stevens replied: “The Republican Party was killed by a changing America. It became a white party and there were not enough white people.”